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Whitefish Enacts Stage II Fire Restrictions

City council on Monday night approved an ordinance putting into effect stage II fire restrictions

Whitefish has enacted stricter fire restrictions within city limits.

The city council on Monday night approved an ordinance putting into effect stage II fire restrictions, effective immediately. Any person who violates the emergency ordinance shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, according to city officials.

July produced barely 0.07 inches of rainfall in Kalispell, making it the fourth driest on record, while West Glacier received an unmeasurable trace, making it the second driest on record, according to the National Weather Service.

Stage II fire restrictions are in effect across Flathead National Forest, Kootenai National Forest and Flathead County.

Due to extreme fire conditions, the following acts or uses are prohibited in Whitefish:

— Campfires: Building, maintaining, attending, or using a campfire, fire pit, open flame barbecues, or other open fire.

— Fireworks: the use of fireworks is prohibited.

— Operating motorized vehicles off designated roads and trails.

— Control of Smoking: Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, or while stopped in an area where at least three feet in diameter is cleared of all flammable material.  Discarding smoking material outdoors is also prohibited.

The council agreed to several exemptions to typical stage II restrictions, allowing the following:

— The use of barbeque grills on private property if used in an area that is barren or mowed and cleared of all surrounding flammable materials within three feet of the device, and overhead flammable materials within six feet of the device, and running water is readily accessible at the device.

— The operation of generators with an approved spark arresting device within an enclosed vehicle compartment or ventilated building, or in an area that is barren and cleared of all surrounding flammable materials within ten feet of the generator, and overhead flammable materials within six feet of the generator.

— The emergency repair of public roadways, public utilities, and railways.

— Any Federal, State, or local officer or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.

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